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  • Henry Omotayo

Practical Repentance

Luke 3:1-14

Message No. 0573 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca

Many people do not fully understand God. They say that they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but you do not see any change in their lives. They feel that once they confess Jesus as Lord and believe that God raised Him up from the dead (Romans 10:9), they are good to go. Well, yes, but what about the process? Before you can confess Jesus as Lord, you ought to have confessed your sins and promise to not go back to them. If, after confessing, you simply go back home and continue all that you have been doing without any changes at all, no one will believe that you have repented.


Go, and sin no more, is a popular phrase that Jesus used for some of the people that He healed during His ministry here on earth. So, it’s one thing to come to Him and confess, and ask for forgiveness, and it’s another thing to repent. The dictionary describes repentance as “the action of repenting” (using the same word to describe itself); then it adds: “sincere regret or remorse.” Um, unfortunately, that’s not all there is to repentance. Wikippedia describes it better. It says, “Repentance is reviewing one's actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to and actual actions that show and prove a change for the better.”

Repentance, in itself, means “change.” It means what I used to do, I do them no longer. When John was out preaching and preparing the way of the Lord, he emphasized repentance. In Luke 3:7-9, John boldly told those who came out to hear his message to repent:


Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”


Based on John’s message, some approached him and asked; “Teacher, what shall we do then?” He replied that those who have two tunics should give one out and those who have food should give to those who do not have. In other words, repentance abhors selfishness, we need to care for one another if we are repented. When tax collectors came to him, who were notorious for collecting more than approved and enriching themselves, John told them: “collect no more than what is appointed to you.” And when soldiers (or policemen) came to him, he had the appropriate advice for them in verse 14:


“Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely and be content with your wages.”


There is no such thing as repentance without changes. Repentance is not only regret and remorse, but also a change of heart. In Ephesians 4:28-32, Paul told the church in Ephesus:


Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.


Excuse me brother/sister: may I ask if you’ve made changes in your life since you accepted Christ? Have you stopped stealing, cheating, manipulating the company’s accounts, fornicating, getting drunk, anger, resentment, backbiting, false accusation, lying, insulting people, and many more actions and attitudes that are clearly against God’s Words? If you have, then thumbs up, because that is true repentance. If you have not, then please do not relax; I encourage you to read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Repentance is practical. If you are yet to give your life to Christ, please do not delay any further. Please read the text in the box below and act urgently. May God bless you as you do so. Amen.


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 PLEASE ACT NOW:
 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!
 
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